Indian end-to-end real estate platform company Square Yards has announced a zero-deposit program for prospective renters.
India's renters, like their fellow renters in many developing markets, have traditionally been subject to restrictive bureaucracy and conditions around deposits. Although the upcoming Model Tenancy Act is set to improve many aspects of the rental tenant experience in India, the issue of deposits remains a barrier to market fluidity.
The product is essentially a residential rental bond which acts as a guarantee in favour of a landlord that will compensate them in case the tenant defaults on their obligations under the tenancy agreement. The tenant on the other hand pays a nominal fee, which is a small percentage of the actual amount of the bond, to the bond issuing authority, issued in favour of the landlord, instead of a security deposit.
The scheme is being launched through property management firm Azuro which Square Yards acquired in February and will form part of the company's 360-degree service.
Tanuj Shori, Founder and CEO, Square Yards said:
"For too long, large deposits have been a burden for the home finders. With our new innovative product, tenants now don't need to cough up deposits and can seamlessly move into professionally managed homes without taking personal loans and withdrawing their savings.
Through this disruption, we are looking at a future where deposits will become a thing of the past. We aim to close 10,000+ rental transactions through this program by the end of next year”
Square Yards recently bagged $25 million in funding and according to Shori is "at the cusp of an accelerated growth curve". The company has acquired platform capabilities in rentals/property management, data intelligence, VR services with the acquisition of Azuro, PropsAMC and PropVR.
With the latest move, the company is looking to follow in the footsteps of portal / platform companies like Rent.com.au and Quinto Andar offering services that look to overcome the stumbling block of deposit guarantees and grease the wheels of the rental market.